The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Top News

January 24, 2014

Reaching the skies by starting in Greenville

Zachary Reeder credits hometown for aviation success

GREENVILLE — Aviation engineer Zachary Reeder gets to help build some of the world’s most advanced aircraft, but he owes it all to the lessons he learned while growing up in Greenville.

“I, as a creative engineer, am a product of this community,” Reeder said.

Reeder was the keynote speaker for Thursday’s Greenville Chamber/Board of Development Annual Banquet. Reeder graduated Greenville High School and Texas A&M University and currently works at Scaled Composites, an aerospace and specialty composites development company located in Mojave, Calif.

Reeder explained much of the wisdom he acquired from his childhood he uses every day in his career, lessons he put to use almost immediately upon graduating.

“I had been out of school with a bachelor’s degree for about three months when I got started in all this,” Reeder said.

His current project is the “Stratolaunch”, which will be the world’s largest aircraft when completed.

Reeder said one of the common misconceptions about engineers is that they are all genius nerds and obsessed with science and math. Instead, Reeder believes the most successful engineers are the ones who truly love what they do.

“Some of the best kinds of fun are really hard and exhausting,” Reeder said. “You can design an airplane with seventh grade math, maybe less.”

Reeder said some of the most important words of advice he put to use came from when he built model airplanes as a kid.

“Doesn’t matter how nice the paint is, if the wing is on crooked,” he said.

Two other principles came from his days being part of Odyssey of the Mind (now known as Destination Imagination) in the eight grade.

“Don’t be afraid to start something you have no idea how to finish, you’ll figure it out,” Reeder said. “If the rules don’t say you can’t do it, then you can.”

Performing in the Greenville High School Band taught Reeder that, “Talent is sort of a myth; practice makes perfect.”

And, as a member of the Greenville High School football team, Reeder said his coaches taught him “You are capable of about 50 percent more than what you think will kill you.”

Reeder said his two most important lessons came from his parents. He noted it was his dad who taught him, “Everything can be broken down into chunks simple enough to understand,” while his mom learned to appreciate his artistic creativity and told him, “It’s OK to paint a lizard on the wall in the bathroom.

“That all happened before I left Greenville,” Reeder said.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • HeadStart.jpg Giving a Head Start

    For students who grow up in a low-income household, the start of their education career can be difficult.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bids due on downtown landmark

    Greenville city officials should know by Tuesday afternoon if there is anyone interested in purchasing a downtown landmark which has become a potential tax liability.

    April 20, 2014

  • SalvationArmy.jpg Feeding bodies, feeding souls

    Two Salvation Army buses pulled into the Town East Village apartment complex in Greenville on Friday.
    One was full of people, the other, of food.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • County Fair about ready to open

    The Hunt County Fairgrounds are about to be a busy place.

    April 20, 2014

  • GHS band helps its own, community

    Members of the Greenville High School Lion Pride Band are particularly charitable.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Unemployment March 2014.jpg Jobless numbers take big dip

    Hundreds of people found jobs locally last month, as Hunt County’s unemployment statistics fell to a six-year low.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GCS flying high

    Greenville Christian School teachers found an entertaining way to learn about physics.

    April 19, 2014

  • Easter Bunny stock photo.jpg Following one busy Easter Bunny

    Easter egg hunts are scheduled in several locations across the area today and Sunday.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vaderrobot.jpg Dallas champions, Robowranglers look forward

    Practicing with the best hones skills and keeps members of Greenville High School Robowranglers on point, according to Director of Robotics Adrienne Emerson.
    The Robowranglers are preparing their robot “Vader” for the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis on April 23-26.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas drougnt as of 4-17-2014.jpg Wet Easter Sunday possible

    It may be a wet Easter holiday in North Texas, as thunderstorms are again in the forecast for the weekend.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads
Poll

Who should the Houston Texans take with the first pick of the 2014 National Football League draft?

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Auburn OT Greg Robinson
Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Real Estate News